WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The City Council of the City of West Hollywood has unanimously approved support of Measure M, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro's) ballot measure, which Los Angeles County voters will decide upon in the general election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Measure M, the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan, proposes to increase the sales tax countywide to support transportation improvements to regional bus and rail transit networks, streets, and highways.
If approved by two-thirds of voters in Los Angeles County, Measure M would generate approximately $860 million annually. Measure M proposes a Local Return program for municipalities to use for transportation-related capital and program expenditures. Based on 2018 projections, Measure M's proposed 17 percent Local Return program would generate an additional $509,000 annually for the City of West Hollywood.
Metro has indicated its intention to accelerate rail service to the City of West Hollywood. In a letter to the City of West Hollywood on Friday, September 16, 2016, Metro CEO Phil Washington outlined Metro's commitment to proceed with key technical studies for a proposed Metro rail project that would connect the Metro Red Line and Metro Crenshaw/LAX Northern Extension through West Hollywood. The City of West Hollywood has been conducting outreach for the proposed line, which would more directly connect the City of West Hollywood to the existing Metro regional rail network and to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and provide new mobility choices for underserved communities along the corridor.
"The City of West Hollywood always strives to find collaborative solutions to traffic and gridlock," said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. "That's why we are extremely pleased with the progress the City has made advocating for Metro rail to come to our community in the near term. Also, Measure M will help fund a comprehensive approach to mobility — not only rail, but also active transportation projects and new technologies."
The proposed Metro Crenshaw/LAX Northern Extension through West Hollywood would connect four existing lines (Red, Purple, Expo, and Green), which would optimize the existing Metro rail network by greatly enhancing regional connectivity. The rail route would bring rail connections to major shopping and entertainment destinations within the City of West Hollywood and throughout the region.
Metro has outlined a schedule to move forward with the proposal as part of its "Operation Shovel Ready Initiative," which represents a potential 20-year acceleration of the project. Metro has confirmed that it will:
- Complete the current line Feasibility Study (by June 2017);
- Proceed with an engineering study to determine a preferred alignment (in 2017);
- Proceed with an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) (in 2018); and
- Pursue additional funding to accelerate construction.
The City of West Hollywood has long supported increasing its transit options. In 2015, the West Hollywood City Council adopted a Resolution to support Metro in placing Measure M on the ballot and it called for the formation of an advocacy committee, West Hollywood Advocates for Metro (WHAM), which has been working to engage the community. In addition, a countywide grassroots coalition, All on Board, was formed to demonstrate the project's regional benefits.
Residents in West Hollywood have consistently demonstrated support for additional transit options by voting in significant numbers in favor of countywide tax measures for transportation projects.
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SOURCE The City of West Hollywood